Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, as it is the property of the very talented JKR

The New Girl

It was the height of Voldemort's reign, and things had all changed.

Voldemort was using Malfoy Manor as his headquarters - as well as living there -, Snape and the Carrows had been installed at Hogwarts, and the death eaters were close to controlling the ministry.

It was a dark and dangerous time to live in, and no-one was safe from anything.

A young blonde woman nervously rung the doorbell of Malfoy Manor. She was very pale and sallow, white blonde hair hung over her face, and she was rather thin.

The door swung open and a tall, haughty looking man with the same blonde hair stood in front of her,' Ah,' he said silkily,' Marissa - right on time. '

' Hello Uncle,' the young woman nodded with a faint smile.

' Come in, come in,' he said, leading her swiftly into the Manor, and through to the drawing room, where his wife and son were sitting.

Marissa smiled politely on seeing her relations. She hugged her aunt in an embrace which was warm and affectionate, and then hugged her cousin in an embrace which was equally affectionate.

Marissa's relations with the three were different, to say the least. Lucius was always perfectly civil to her, but she never knew how to act around him. Narcissa was fond of her and saw her as the daughter she had never had. And as for Draco, Marissa was fond of. Although he coul be smarmy and arrogant, she saw that he was really just a child out of his depth sometimes. The 6 year age gap meant that they were fairly close and got on quite well.

Lucius Malfoy commanded his house elf to make them all a drink, whilst Narcissa immediately began to ask after Marissa's family, and Draco sat in an uneasy silence.

Marissa's father was Lucius' brother, whilst her mother had been a Rookwood before marriage. As the daughter of two dark families, it was expected that the 23 year old Marissa would follow in the footsteps of her families.

Now with the height of the war, and Lord Voldemort taking over whilst staying at Malfoy Manor, Marissa's parents had decided it would be a good idea for her to live at the Manor.

In fact, Marissa's parents, and Uncle Lucius, had decided that she would recieve the dark mark.

*****

Her first meeting with the Dark Lord was to be the next day- she was to be presented to the Dark Lord in front of the rest of the death eaters.

That evening, she was in her new bedroom when someone knocked on the door.

' Come in,' she called, before turning around to be faced with her cousin, as well as a woman she'd never met before.

' Well well well,' the woman smirked,' this must be the Marissa I've heard so much about. My sister speaks very highly of you, my dear.'

Marissa looked at her in confusion, until Draco explained,' This is my aunt - Bellatrix Lestrange. She and her husband live with us too. '

Marissa bowed her head as she had often been taught to do on meeting someone older and more influencial,' It's a pleasure to meet you, Mrs Lestrange. '

Bellatrix - a wild looking woman with unruly black hair, and cold black eyes - laughed,' my my, such formalities. You certainly are a polite young lady. The Dark Lord will be impressed. '

Marissa sighed,' Do - do you think so? '

Bellatrix looked at her nephew,' Draco, could you leave us girls alone for a moment? '

Draco - who knew not to argue with his aunt - merely looked at Marissa, and when she nodded, he left the room.

Bellatrix, once she was alone with Marissa, stepped closer, and observed the younger woman,' So,' she said,' you're going to become a death eater, as I understand. You're going to get the Dark Mark soon? '

Marissa nodded.

' How do you feel about that? '

' It's my duty. It's what my parents wish for me,' was the simple reply.

' Are you nervous? Do you think the Dark Lord will be satisfied with you? '

' I - I don't know,' said Marissa.

Bellatrix paused for a moment, before saying,' I am the Dark Lord's favourite. I can help you become valued too. '

' Why would you do that for me? ' Marissa asked, in deep confusion.

Bellatrix shrugged and left the room, leaving behind a deeply confused Marissa.

*****

Marissa was leaving her room for breakfast the next morning, when she met a man on the landing.

' Ah,' he said,' you must be Lucius' niece.'

This man had dark brown hair, and dark eyes. He was only in his early 30s, and was quite a good looking man.

' Yes,' Marissa nodded.

He stuck out his hand,' Barty Crouch. '

Her eyebrows shot up,' Barty Crouch? ' she echoed,' but aren't you - I mean, I thought you -? '

He laughed,' You mean what happened at Hogwarts, when the Dark Lord rose? No, I almost recieved the Dementors kiss, but at the last minute, I managed to escape. I ran back to the grounds, and grabbed the Portkey. It took me to the graveyard, and from there I found my way to Malfoy Manor, where I knew that as a trusted death eater, Lucius would house me. '

Marissa bit back a laugh. Her Uncle wasn't exactly the most trusted since the escape of Harry Potter and his little friends from the ministry - and the loss of the prophecy.

Barty regarded her for a moment, and asked,' Is it true? What Bellatrix tells me about the Dark Lord and yourself? '

Marissa nodded.

And for the first time, someone noticed her sorrow on the subject. Barty raised his eyebrows,' But you don't want to be one of his followers? '

Marissa looked at him in suprise,' I never said - '

' No,' he interrupted,' but it's in the way you nod so resigned. '

She said nothing.

' Why? ' he asked,' why don't you want to join the Dark Lord? ' he asked it with genuine interest and he seemed easy enough to talk to.

She looked into his deep brown eyes as she spoke and couldn't help noticing that they were a very nice colour,' Times are hard,' she said cryptically,' The decision was made by my family and I must respect their wishes.'

' What about what you want? '

Marissa scoffed and turned away. She'd gotten halfway down the staircase when she heard heavy footsteps behind her, and before she knew it, Barty had standing right beside her.

She rolled her eyes,' That's not fair,' she said,' your legs are much longer than mine.'

He laughed,' So come on then,' he said,' what do you want? '

Marissa shook her head, and stopped at the bottom of the stairs, turning to face him,' You know what? You're actually alright for a - '

She cut herself off quickly, refusing to finish the sentence

His own smile faded,' For a death eater, you mean? ' he asked.

She pushed her hair away from her face, and as her fingers brushed her cheek, she felt the burn of embarrassment on her cheeks.

' I get it,' Barty said seriously,' you think that all death eaters are pure evil, and incapable of showing the smallests signs of being human. You don't want to be that. '

' I - '

' Well I promise you now, Miss Malfoy,' he said,' you don't have to be pure evil to be a death eater. You think that Harry Potter and his friends, and Dumbledore and those people are all pure good? '

' Marissa. '

He threw her a strange look,' I beg your pardon? '

' My name,' she explained,' you called me Miss Malfoy, but I thought you might like to know I have a name; it's Marissa. '

There was a brief moment in which something fell over his face, and he smiled a different smile to the teasing, joking smile he'd used up until now.

' Right then,' he said, sticking out his hand,' then it's a pleasure to meet you, Marissa. ' Marissa slipped her hand into his and he shook her hand firmly.

*****

It was an half an hour before Marissa's presentation to the Dark Lord. She stood in front of the full length mirror in her room, whilst Narcissa sat on the bed, watching the young woman.

Marissa was wearing a dress which Bellatrix had found for her. It was black, floor length, had a big skirt with a kind of corset top, and was very dark and gothic. Her hair was piled up messily ontop of her head, courtesy of Narcissa.

' You look very appropriate,' Narcissa told her,' I am certain the Dark Lord will be pleased with you. '

Marissa couldn't help but think that it was alright for her to say. After all, their family may be playing host to the Dark Lord, but Narcissa had never had to be presented for the Mark, had she?

*****

Marissa stood outside the large room where the death eaters and followers of the Dark Lord were gathered.

The door of the room opened a crack, and Lucius slipped around the edge, coming to stand besides his niece. ' It is time,' he told her.

Marissa nodded and smoothed down her dress, as her uncle laid a hand on her shoulder and guided her into the room.

On their entrance, the room fell silent and every pair of eyes in the room were fixed firmly upon the young woman. The men and women in the black cloaks watched her intently, waiting to see what their Lord would make of her. At the head of the room, Lord Voldemort sat in a tall chair, his faithful snake coiling herself around his feet.

' Name? ' the Dark Lord asked.

Marissa began to say her name, but her uncle - whose hand was still on her shoulder - dug his fingers into her to silence her, and answered on her behalf,' Marissa Jane Malfoy.'

' Who puts forward this girl to join us? '

' I, Lucius Abraxas Malfoy,' was the ready reply.

' Come to me,' Voldemort said in his harsh whisper.

Lucius let go of Marissa's shoulder and pushed her forwards slightly. Marissa slowly moved forwards, until she stood in front of Voldemort.

' Kneel,' he hissed.

Quickly - and quite aware that the rest of the room was still watching her - Marissa fell to her knees and kissed the Dark Lord's feet, almost trembling with fear.

' Do you vow to follow me no matter what the cost to your own life? '

Marissa nodded silently, wishing she was anywhere else but here.

' Hmm,' the Dark Lord said, seemingly satisfied,' I hope you understand that the Dark Mark is a great honour amongst my followers. If it were not for the respectable name of your uncle and the Malfoy family, you would not be granted ths honour. '

Marissa nodded in silence once more.

' Your arm,' he said.

Marissa shakily held out her arm. And from there, there was no going back.

*****

It was mid-night when the Dark Lord retired to the corner of the house where he lived away from everyone else. The death eaters went home, and the rest of Malfoy Manor also went to bed.

As everyone slept, the newest death eater sat on the edge of her bed, clutching at her arm. The searing pin was almost too much to bear.

Burning.

Red hot, burning so much she was suprised her arm was still there.

Her tears fell quickly and steadily, staining her cheeks and wetting the bedcovers.

She took her hand from her arm and looked at the ugly black mark sitting there. The skull with the snake protruding from its mouth was a horrible mark, and made Marissa wish she had never been born.

A gentle knock at the door made her look up in suprise. She clamped her hand down over her inner forearm and wiped away her tears with the other hand. Ignoring the immense pain in her arm, she crossed the room and yanked the door open.

' Oh! ' she cried in suprise.

Barty tilted his head on one side,' Marissa? ' he asked carefully.

When she only continued to look at him in suprise, he brushed past her and entered her bedroom. She composed herself and shut the bedroom door behind them.

' Shouldn't you be in bed? ' she asked him,' it's late. '

' I know,' he said,' and shouldn't you be too? You've had a . . . a different day. You should be getting some rest.'

She shook her head,' I can't. It's just - I can't. '

He looked at her with more sympathy in his eyes,' You must be in pain. '

She shrugged,' A little. '

' Come off it,' he laughed, shaking his head,' I know what it's like, I've had mine done too. You must be in so much pain. '

There was a pause, before Marissa allowed her tears to fall again,' I'm a monster, Barty,' she said, as all of her worries began to fall,' I was never the best of people, but this - this confirms it. '

She stuck out her arm, showing him her mark,' I'm a monster,' she said,' An ugly, evil, monster. '

' No,' he said firmly.

' But - '

' No,' he interrupted,' or at least - I'm every bit a monster as you are. ' He pulled his own sleeve back over his arm, revealing his own Dark Mark,' you see? If you're a monster, then so am I.'

' You're not,' she mumbled,' you're so nice to me.'

He reached out and laid a hand on her upper arm, his fingers moving gently across her bare skin,' It seems to me that you need someone to be nice to you.'

' But why you though? ' Marissa asked,' you don't even know me.'

Barty laughed, allowing his fingers to trail down to the edges of her mark. She bit her lip as he touched the sore area. ' Darlin',' Barty said,' in a place like this, we need all the friends we can get. '

' Is that what we are? ' Marissa asked him.

He nodded,' Why not? '

' Why did you come to my room, Barty? ' she asked,' what're you even doing here? '

He paused for a moment, looking unsure, and Marissa thought she'd caught him out. However, he answered,' I wondered if you'd let me do something? '

' What? ' she asked in curiosity.

He leaned closer to her and kissed her cheek lightly. When she made no objection, he kissed her lips quickly but affectionately.

She looked at him in shock, and he was grinned like a madman.

' I'll see you around,' he said, before leaving the room.

She slowly brought a hand to trace her lips, her pain momentarily forgotten,' I'm sure you will,' she muttered to herself.